We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

American Slavery As It Is

Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses

Theodore Dwight Weld

Publication Year: 2011

Compiled by a prominent abolitionist Theodore Dwight Weld, ###American Slavery As It Is# combines information taken from witnesses, and from active and former slave owners, to generate a condemnation of slavery from both those who observed it and those who perpetuated it. The narrative describes the appalling day-to-day conditions of the over 2,700,000 men, women and children in slavery in the United States. Weld demonstrates how even prisoners--in the United States and in other countries--were significantly better fed than American slaves. Readers will find one of the most meticulous records of slave life available in this text. Unlike personal slave narratives, which focus on a single man or woman's experience, ###American Slavery# details the overall conditions of slaves across multiple states and several years.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.0 KB)
 

read more

About This Edition

pdf iconDownload PDF (71.0 KB)
pp. 3-5

This edition is made available under the imprimatur of DocSouth Books, a cooperative endeavor between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library and the University of North Carolina Press. Titles in DocSouth Books are drawn from...

read more

ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.

pdf iconDownload PDF (40.1 KB)
pp. 6-

A MAJORITY of the facts and testimony contained in this work rests upon the authority of SLAVEHOLDERS, whose names and residences are given to the public, as vouchers for the truth of their statements. That they should utter falsehoods...

read more

NOTE.

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.7 KB)
pp. 7-8

The Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, while tendering their grateful acknowledgments, in the name of American Abolitionists, and in behalf of the slave, to those who have furnished for this publication the result of their residence and travel in the slave states of this Union, announce...

CONTENTS.

pdf iconDownload PDF (56.4 KB)
pp. 9-15

read more

INTRODUCTION.

pdf iconDownload PDF (61.7 KB)
pp. 17-23

READER, you are empannelled as a juror to try a plain case and bring in an honest verdict. The question at issue is not one of law, but of fact—"What is the actual condition of the slaves in the United States?" A plainer case never went to a jury. Look at it. TWENTY-SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND PERSONS in this...

read more

PERSONAL NARRATIVES.

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.8 KB)
pp. 24-26

MR. NEHEMIAH CAULKINS, of Waterford, New London Co., Connecticut, has furnished the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, with the following statements relative to the condition and treatment of slaves, in the south...

read more

NARRATIVE OF MR. CAULKINS.

pdf iconDownload PDF (83.7 KB)
pp. 26-41

I feel it my duty to tell some things that I know about slavery, in order, if possible, to awaken more feeling at the North in behalf of the slave. The treatment of the slaves on the plantations where I had the greatest opportunity of getting knowledge, was not so bad as that on some neighboring estates, where the owners..

read more

NARRATIVE AND TESTIMONY OF REV. HORACE MOULTON.

pdf iconDownload PDF (78.9 KB)
pp. 42-54

Yours of Feb. 2d, requesting me to write out a few facts on the subject of slavery, as it exists at the south, has come to hand. I hasten to comply with your request. Were it not, however, for the claims of those "who are drawn unto death," and the responsibility...

read more

NARRATIVE AND TESTIMONY OF SARAH M. GRIMKÉ.

pdf iconDownload PDF (55.5 KB)
pp. 55-60

Miss Grimké is a daughter of the late Judge Grimké, of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, and sister of the late Hon. Thomas S. Grimké. As I left my native state on account of slavery, and deserted the home of my fathers to escape the sound of the lash and the shrieks of tortured victims, I would gladly bury...

read more

TESTIMONY OF THE LATE REV. JOHN GRAHAM,

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.6 KB)
pp. 61-64

TESTIMONY OF THE LATE REV. JOHN GRAHAM, of Townsend, Mass., who resided in S. Carolina, from 1831, to the latter part of 1833. Mr. Graham graduated at Amherst College in 1829, spent some time at the Theological Seminary, in New Haven, Ct., and went to South Carolina, for his health in 1830. He resided principally on the island of St. Helena, S. C., and most of the time in the...

read more

TESTIMONY OF MR. WILLIAM POE.

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.9 KB)
pp. 65-68

Mr. Poe is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and was formerly a slaveholder. He was for several years a merchant in Richmond, and subsequently in Lynchburg, Virginia. A few years since, he emancipated his slaves, and removed to Hamilton County, Ohio, near Cincinnati; where he is a highly respected ruling elder in the Presbyterian church. He says,— "I am pained exceedingly...

PRIVATIONS OF THE SLAVES.

read more

I. FOOD.

pdf iconDownload PDF (95.0 KB)
pp. 70-88

WE begin with the food of the slaves, because if they are ill treated in this respect we may be sure that they will be ill treated in other respects, and generally in a greater degree. For a man habitually to stint his dependents in their food, is the extreme of meanness and cruelty, and the greatest evidence he can give...

read more

II. LABOR. THE SLAVES ARE OVERWORKED.

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.0 KB)
pp. 88-101

April 26, 1837, affords an illustration. The writer in describing the effects of the money pressure in Mississippi, says: "They, (the planters,) are now left without provisions and the means of living and using their industry, for the present year. In this dilemma, planters whose crops have been from 100 to 700 bales, find themselves forced to sacrifice many of their...

read more

III. CLOTHING.

pdf iconDownload PDF (63.3 KB)
pp. 102-108

We propose to show under this head, that the clothing of the slaves by day, and their covering by night, are inadequate, either for comfort or decency....

read more

IV. DWELLINGS. THE SLAVES ARE WRETCHEDLY SHELTERED AND LODGED.

pdf iconDownload PDF (51.1 KB)
pp. 108-111

"On old plantations, the negro quarters are of frame and clapboards, seldom affording a comfortable shelter from wind or rain; their size varies from 8 by 10, to 10 by 12, feet, and six or eight feet high...

read more

V. TREATMENT OF THE SICK. THE SLAVES SUFFER FROM INHUMAN NEGLECT WHEN SICK.

pdf iconDownload PDF (52.6 KB)
pp. 111-116

In proof of this we subjoin the following testimony: Rev. Dr. CHANNING of Boston, who once resided in Virginia, relates the following fact in his work on slavery, page 163, 1st edition...

PERSONAL NARRATIVES—PART II.

read more

TESTIMONY OF THE REV. WILLIAM T. ALLAN, LATE OF ALABAMA.

pdf iconDownload PDF (55.3 KB)
pp. 118-123

Mr. ALLAN is a son of the Rev. Dr. Allan, a slaveholder and pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Huntsville, Alabama. He has recently become the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Chatham, Illinois. "I was born and have lived most of my life in the slave states, mainly in the village of Huntsville, Alabama, where my parents still reside. I seldom went to a plantation, and...

read more

NARRATIVE OF MR. WILLIAM LEFTWICH, A NATIVE OF VIRGINIA.

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.2 KB)
pp. 124-127

Mr. Leftwich is a grandson of Gen. Jabez Leftwich, who was for some years a member of Congress from Virginia. Though born in Virginia, he has resided most of his life in Alabama. He now lives in Delhi, Hamilton county, Ohio, near Cincinnati. As an introduction to his letter, the reader is furnished with the following testimonial to his character, from the Rev. Horace Bushnell, pastor of the Presbyterian church...

read more

TESTIMONY OF MR. LEMUEL SAPINGTON, A NATIVE OF MARYLAND.

pdf iconDownload PDF (26.0 KB)
pp. 128-129

Mr. Sapington, is a repentant "soul driver" or slave trader, now a citizen of Lancaster, Pa. He gives the following testimony in a letter dated, Jan. 21, 1839. "I was born in Maryland, afterwards moved to Virginia, where I commenced the business of farming and trafficking in slaves. In my neighborhood the slaves..

read more

TESTIMONY OF MRS. NANCY LOWRY, A NATIVE OF KENTUCKY.

pdf iconDownload PDF (25.1 KB)
pp. 130-131

Mrs. Lowry, is a member of the non-conformist church in Osnaburg, Stark County, Ohio., she is a native of Kentucky. We have received from her the following testimony. "I resided in the family of Reuben Long, the principal part of the time, from seven to twenty-two years of age. Mr. Long had 16 slaves, among whom were three who...

read more

TESTIMONY OF MR. WM. C. GILDERSLEEVE, A NATIVE OF GEORGIA

pdf iconDownload PDF (40.2 KB)
pp. 132-

Mr. W. C. GILDERSLEEVE, a native of Georgia, is an elder of the Presbyterian Church at Wilkesbarre, Pa. "Acts of cruelty, without number, fell under my observation while I lived in Georgia. I will mention but one. A slave of a Mr. Pinkney, on his way with a wagon to Savannah, 'camped...

read more

TESTIMONY OF MR. HIRAM WHITE—A NATIVE OF NORTH CAROLINA.

pdf iconDownload PDF (42.4 KB)
pp. 133-134

Mr. WHITE resided thirty-two years in Chatham county, North Carolina, and is now a member of the Baptist Church, at Otter Creek Prairie, Illinois. About the 20th December, 1830, a report was raised that the slaves in Chatham county, North Carolina, were going to rise on Christmas day," in consequence of which...

read more

TESTIMONY OF MR. JOHN M. NELSON—A NATIVE OF VIRGINIA.

pdf iconDownload PDF (89.0 KB)
pp. 135-149

Extract of a letter, dated January 3, 1839, from John M. Nelson, Esq., of Hillsborough. Mr. Nelson removed from Virginia to Highland county, Ohio, many years since, where he is extensively known and respected. I was born and raised in Augusta county, Virginia; my father was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and was "owner" of about twenty slaves; he was what was generally....

read more

GENERAL TESTIMONY TO THE CRUELTIES INFLICTED UPON SLAVES.

pdf iconDownload PDF (78.1 KB)
pp. 149-161

Before presenting to the reader particular details of the cruelties inflicted upon American slaves, we will present in brief the well-weighed declarations of slaveholders and other residents of slave states, testifying that the slaves are treated with barbarous...

read more

PUNISHMENTS.

pdf iconDownload PDF (268.8 KB)
pp. 166-238

The slaves are terribly lacerated with whips, paddles, &c.; red pepper and salt are rubbed into their mangled flesh; hot brine and turpentine are poured into their gashes; and innumerable other tortures inflicted upon them. We will in the first place, prove by a cloud of witnesses, that the slaves are whipped with such inhuman...

PERSONAL NARRATIVES—PART III.

read more

NARRATIVE AND TESTIMONY OF REV. FRANCIS HAWLEY.

pdf iconDownload PDF (67.7 KB)
pp. 241-248

Mr. HAWLEY is the pastor of the Baptist Church in Colebrook, Litchfield county, Connecticut. He has resided fourteen years in the slave states, North and South Carolina. His character and standing with his own denomination at the south, may...

read more

TESTIMONY OF REUBEN G. MACY AND RICHARD MACY.

pdf iconDownload PDF (47.4 KB)
pp. 249-252

The following is an extract of a letter recently received from CHARLES MARRIOTT of Hudson, New York. Mr. Marriott is an elder in the Religious Society of Friends, and is extensively known and respected. "The two following brief statements, are furnished by Richard Macy and Reuben G. Macy, brothers...

read more

TESTIMONY OF MR. ELEAZAR POWELL.

pdf iconDownload PDF (47.5 KB)
pp. 253-256

"In the month of December, 1836, I went to the State of Mississippi to work at my trade, (masonry and bricklaying,) and continued to work in the counties of Adams and Jefferson, between four and five months. In following my business...

read more

TESTIMONY ON THE AUTHORITY OF REV. WM. SCALES, LYNDON, VT.

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.3 KB)
pp. 257-258

The following is an extract of a letter from two professional gentlemen and their wives, who have lived for some years in a small village in one of the slave states. They are all persons of the highest respectability, and are well known in at least one of the New England states. Their names are with the Executive Committee...

read more

TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH IDE, ESQ.

pdf iconDownload PDF (26.3 KB)
pp. 259-260

Mr. IDE is a respected member of the Baptist Church in Sheffield, Caledonia county, Vt.; and recently the Postmaster in that town. He spent a few months at the south in the years 1837 and 8. In a letter to the Rev. Wm. Scales of Lyndon, Vt. written a few weeks since, Mr. Ide writes as follows. "In answering the...

read more

TESTIMONY OF REV. PHINEAS SMITH.

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.1 KB)
pp. 261-262

MR. SMITH is now pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Centreville, Allegany county, N. Y. He has recently returned from a residence in the slave states, and the American slave holding setlements in Texas. The following is an extract of a letter lately received from him. "You inquire respecting...

TESTIMONY OF PHILEMON BLISS, ESQ.

pdf iconDownload PDF (55.7 KB)
pp. 263-269

read more

TESTIMONY OF REV. WILLIAM A. CHAPIN.

pdf iconDownload PDF (42.7 KB)
pp. 270-271

Rev. WILLIAM SCALES, of Lyndon, Vermont, has furnished the following testimony, under date of Dec. 15, 1838. "I send you an extract from a letter that I have just received, which you may use ad libitum. The letter is from Rev. Wm. A. Chapin, Greens-borough, Vermont. To one who is acquainted with Mr. C. his opinion and statements must carry conviction...

read more

TESTIMONY OF MESSRS. T. D. M. AND F. C. MACY.

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.4 KB)
pp. 272-275

This testimony is communicated in a letter from Mr. Cyrus Pierce, a respectable and well known citizen of Nantucket, Mass. Of the witnesses, Messrs. T. D. M. and F. C. Macy, Mr. Pierce says, "They are both inhabitants of this island, and have...

read more

TESTIMONY OF A CLERGYMAN.

pdf iconDownload PDF (57.0 KB)
pp. 276-281

The following letter was written to Mr. ARTHUR TAPPAN, of New York, in the summer of 1833. As the name of the writer cannot be published with safety to himself, it is withheld. The following testimonials, from Mr. TAPPAN, Professor WRIGHT, and THOMAS RITTER, M. D. of New York, establish the trust-worthiness and high respectability..

OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

OBJECTION I.—"SUCH CRUELTIES ARE INCREDIBLE."

pdf iconDownload PDF (117.1 KB)
pp. 284-308

read more

OBJECTION. II.—'SLAVEHOLDERS PROTEST THAT THEY TREAT THEIR SLAVES WELL.'

pdf iconDownload PDF (70.4 KB)
pp. 309-317

Self-justification is human nature; self-condemnation is a sublime triumph over it, and as rare as sublime. What culprits would be convicted, if their own testimony were taken by juries as good evidence? Slaveholders are on trial, charged with cruel treatment to their slaves, and though in their own courts they can clear themselves...

OBJECTION III.—'SLAVEHOLDERS ARE PROVERBIAL FOR THEIR KINDNESS, HOSPITALITY, BENEVOLENCE, AND GENEROSITY.'

pdf iconDownload PDF (62.5 KB)
pp. 317-324

read more

OBJECTION IV.—'NORTHERN VISITORS AT THE SOUTH TESTIFY THAT THE SLAVES ARE NOT CRUELLY TREATED.'

pdf iconDownload PDF (67.1 KB)
pp. 325-332

ANSWER:—Their knowledge on this point must have been derived, either from the slaveholders and overseers themselves, or from the slaves, or from their own observation. If from the slaveholders, their testimony has already been weighed and found wanting; if they derived it from the slaves, they can hardly...

read more

OBJECTION V.—'IT IS FOR THE INTEREST OF THE MASTERS TO TREAT THEIR SLAVES WELL.'

pdf iconDownload PDF (95.0 KB)
pp. 332-349

So it is for the interest of the drunkard to quit his cups; for the glutton to curb his appetite; for the debauchee to bridle his lust; for the sluggard to be up betimes; for the spendthrift to be economical, and for all sinners to stop sinning. Even if it were for the interest of masters to treat their slaves well, he must be a novice...

read more

OBJECTION VI.—'THE FACT THAT THE SLAVES MULTIPLY SO RAPIDLY PROVES THAT THEY ARE NOT INHUMANLY TREATED, BUT ARE IN A COMFORTABLE CONDITION.'

pdf iconDownload PDF (70.6 KB)
pp. 357-367

To this we reply in brief, 1st. It has been already shown under a previous head, that, in considerable sections of the slave states, especially in the South West, the births among slaves are fewer than the deaths, which would exhibit a fearful decrease of the slave population in those sections, if the deficiency were not made up by the slave trade from the upper country. 2d. The fact that all...

read more

OBJECTION VIII.—'PUBLIC OPINION IS A PROTECTION TO THE SLAVE.'

pdf iconDownload PDF (534.1 KB)
pp. 368-528

ANSWER. It was public opinion that made him a slave. In a republican government the people make the laws, and those laws are merely public opinion in legal forms. We repeat it,—public opinion made them slaves, and keeps them slaves...

INDEX.

pdf iconDownload PDF (115.8 KB)
pp. 521-551


E-ISBN-13: 9781469602875
E-ISBN-10: 1469602873
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807869574
Print-ISBN-10: 0807869570

Page Count: 552
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: DocSouth Books